Phosphorus is an important chemical element with only one stable isotope. Here are some of the common uses of phosphorus in the world today!
Uses of Phosphorus
- Phosphates are used to make special glass that is an important component of sodium lamps.
- Phosphorus is an essential nutrient for plants. It is, therefore, added to fertilizers.
- In the laboratory, two radioactive isotopes of phosphorus can be used as radioactive tracers.
- Calcium phosphate can be used to make fine china.
- The strikers for matchsticks are made from phosphorus. Flares and safety matches are also made from phosphorus.
- White phosphorus is used in incendiary bombs, smoke screens (such as smoke bombs) and tracer ammunition.
- Tributylphosphate, a compound of phosphorus, is used to extract uranium. This is called the Purex process.
- Phosphorus is an important component of DNA and RNA.
- Phosphorus is used in the production of steel.
- Sodium tripolyphosphate is used in laundry detergents in some parts of the world. It helps in the cleaning of clothes. However, some countries have banned them as it leads to the killing of fish when leaked into waterways.
- Other compounds of phosphorus are used in the manufacture of pesticides, food additives, toothpaste and fertilizers.